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Garth Brooks Was Surprised by Ex-Wife Sandy Mahl’s Comments in New Documentary: ‘She’s Phenomenal’

Getting real. Ahead of A&E’s two-part documentary special, The Road I’m On, Garth Brooks opened up about being completely unfiltered and allowing his entire family to be a large part of the doc.

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“What really surprised me was Sandy, the girls’ mom. She was phenomenal,” Brooks, 57, said during a recent event promoting the doc in New York City, referring to his first wife, Sandy Mahl. “[I was] gone so much on the road [during our marriage], there were things I guess she was [trying to tell] me that I didn’t hear until this biography. It’s rare you get to hear the other side. I just saw her and I think I hugged her harder than I ever have now that I know things that either I didn’t hear or that she didn’t say until now.”

Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl Documentary
Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl attend the Peoples Choice Awards in March 1996. Dave Lewis/Shutterstock

Mahl, 54, married Brooks in 1986. The pair share three daughters, Taylor, 27, August, 25, and Allie, 23. In 2000, the pair divorced and in 2005, Brooks married Trisha Yearwood, whom he met when he was still married to Mahl.

“I had been married 13 months when I met her. When someone said, ‘What’d you think when I met her?’ I said, ‘I felt like I just met my wife,’ which is weird, right? But the girls’ mother and I were married in a church, in front of our families,” the “Dance” singer explained. “If we’d gotten married then, either the career wouldn’t have been what it was in the ’90s or our marriage wouldn’t have lasted. So I have to believe that things happen when they happen. I feel very lucky right now where I’m at. So even if I did have regrets, I wouldn’t change anything in fear of changing where I’m at right now.”

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He also opened up about leaving the industry in the ’90s. “I got divorced, moved back to Oklahoma and left Nashville. I was living with three strange women that I did not know. They were 8, 6 and 4, and I was about to get a crash course in females,” the Country Music Hall of Fame member revealed. “And [then] my best friend showed up. It was good, [Trisha] helped me out a lot. She didn’t have children either, so we were kind of the blind leading the blind. But I will say, I’d never wished divorce on anybody, but [for us,] three children and three parents worked really well, especially since the three girls were all tomboys. So they were all at soccer, track and field, softball and never ever did one of those kids take the field where at least one parent wasn’t in the stands.”

Garth Brooks Documentary
Garth Brooks 2018 Blue Rose, Inc

The two-time Grammy winner then added: “I love music to death. Really do. But there’s nothing like loving your babies.”

The documentary also features quite a bit of tears on the country star’s side — something he admits is normal for him. “I’m always emotional,” he told Us Weekly exclusively, before adding that he didn’t hold back at all while making the special. “The truth is what you believe it to be. So all you do is tell the truth. My oldest girl and I, we have some variations of the stories, so you [also] see how she sees it. It’s interesting to see both sides. I like that honesty.”

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For more from Brooks, pick up Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

The two-part special airs on A&E Monday, December 2, and Tuesday, December 3, at 9 p.m. ET.

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